Slander campaign against Chhatradhar Mahato
Posted by Ka Frank on October 14, 2009
Chhatradhar Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities in Lalgarh, West Bengal, was arrested on September 26 by policemen posing as reporters from a Singapore TV station. He was charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Letter from Amit Bhattacharyya, Professor of History, Jadavpur University
The WB government has started a slander campaign against Chhatradhar Mahato. For the last two days one HT reporter (Surbek Biswas is known as a police reporter, as his only source of information is undisclosed police officials) published reports in Kolkata stating that Mahato had revealed his connections with the Maoists in course of interrogaton by the police.
Today, the police administration and the CPI(M) did something nefarious which they themselves are capable of doing. The DGP [Director-General of Police] called a press conference and stated that Mahato has a property worth 1.5 crores, that he owns 5 houses in Mayurbhaj, that he took money from local people and urban intellectuals, and was in constant contact with the Maoist leader Kishanji.
Immediately after the DGP conference, the CPI(M) defeated MP Md. Salim called a press conference and said whatever he could to denigrate the PCPA leadership and the Lalgarh movement, connecting TMC [Trinamool Congress] with the Maoists.
The Calcutta TV talked to Kishanji over telephone for his response. Kishanji dismissed all these as slander campaign to denigrate the Lalgarh movement and invited the reporter to come to Mahato’s broken hut to see with his eyes how poor he actually is, and to make a comparisn with the house in which Buddhadev lives.
Chhatradhar lives in a broken hut; his main source of income was collection and sale of kendu leaves, apart from some small piece of land. But when he got involved in the movement, he could not do anything; so he had to send his two sons–reading in classes 6 and 7–to sell the leaves. He could thus hardly make both ends meet. If only Santosh Patra, the treasurer of the committee could give him some money, he and his family could have something to eat. He has one ancestral two-storied house, where he owns only one room as his share, the rest being divided among his other relatives. This is Mahato’s property.
Actually, as all the CPM bosses are like Anuj Pandey and had amassed millions by robbing the people, they are in the habit of seeing everyone in that light through their jaundiced eyes. We strongly condemn such despicable attempts by the malicious and mischievous CPI(M) leaders and the WB police force.